Concerto in A for Piano and Orchestra - (2017)
in memory of Mehli Mehta
in memory of
a teacher and conductor, with whom I had the privilege to study while at
UCLA in the mid-1970s. Though a singer and student in music education at
that time, I thought to add studies in conducting from maestro Mehta and Roger
Wagner, who was a preeminent choral conductor in Los Angeles at that time.
These lessons, though in a large music school, were private. Meeting
one-on-one in the large orchestra rehearsal room of Schoenberg Hall, were a
little surreal for me. Sitting together at a music stand in the place where
he conducted, he was consistently informative, and these quarters
during my other studies there were a joy.
Mehta as found on the American Youth Symphony site, violinist Lawrence
Sonderling is quoted, "It was always the music that was the most important
thing." This was the message of our first lesson as we began with the
opening movement of Mozart's Symphony No. 35 in D major, K. 385, which quite
mirrors what a student of Nadia Boulanger wrote of her view which simply
reinforces, "Music, music, music." For more on Mehta one may read his
appreciation as found at the American Youth Symphony.
motive on which the opening movement is based is essentially the functional
use, melodically and harmonically of the opening notes of the violins.
orchestra states the first movement's thematic material in earnest, breaking into an
As the first section in A major and its relative minor comes to a close, a
middle section in the parallel minor features piano with a minimal
accompaniment. Its theme with the upward leap of the seventh sings this
adagio, and then the gesture on other scale components carries over to the
movement continues.... After several long arches of lyricism, a small flight of scales between the long
phrases decorates as contrast, and thereafter the solo violoncello
takes up the theme to the accompaniment of all strings, while the piano is
silenced for a time.
break from the from the orchestra textures is made, as the solo piano takes
center stage an announces one of the related themes for the final movement
in fugue form..
section takes the subject of the G sharp and A to extend with octave
displacement the notes into a lively melody. Visits to the dominant and
relative minor harmonic domains play out, sometimes in a fugue-like manner
as formal structures become a single amalgam.
work ends with a nod to the first assignment which Maestro Mehta had given
me, the opening movement of Mozart's "Haffner" symphony, that theme
compressed from duple into a 3/4 meter and only as an embedded quotation, as
the final section takes elements of the previous themes to form this last
work ends with a presto section. hurrying to the concerto's
pages, circa 17' 30" - an MP3 emulation of the work is here:
and parts are available as a free PDF download, though any major
commercial performance or recording of the work is prohibited without prior
arrangement with the composer. Click on the graphic below for this score.
A for Piano and Chamber Orchestra
Full score - A4 edition